AIB Launches 65th Annual Rugby Colours Match
UCD, Dublin, Wednesday 5th April: AIB, proud partners of UCD Rugby, officially launched the eagerly anticipated 65th Annual Colours Match between UCD Rugby and Dublin University Football Club at the UCD Bowl this coming Friday, April 7th.
UCD captain Jamie Glynn was on hand for the launch alongside Trinity’s Brian Slater, while UCD’s Leah Hayden went toe to toe with Niamh Byrne of Trinity for the third year of the Women’s Colours Match.
While many of the UCD and Trinity players will have made new acquaintances on the recent Irish Universities outing against England, friendships will be put aside this Friday as Trinity try to win back-to-back Colours Matches, an accomplishment Trinity haven’t been able to achieve in over 20 years.
The Honours over the last decade are close to an even split, but favour UCD with six wins to Trinity’s four. Both teams went tit-for-tat in the early part of the last decade, with UCD then putting a run of four successive wins together from 2012-2015. Having lost last year’s fixture to a spirited Trinity side in a packed-out College Park, UCD will be looking to snatch back the ownership of the highly valued claret jug, The Colours Cup.
The teams are currently sitting close together in the All Ireland League with UCD in 5th place on 38 points, followed closely by Trinity in 7th place on 35 points. The 6:30pm fixture is one you don’t want to miss.
The Women’s Colours Match will act as the curtain raiser at the UCD Bowl as they kick off at 2:30pm this Friday. It’s the third year the Women’s Colours Match takes place, with Trinity claiming the Kay Bowden Cup in its inaugural year, while UCD took it home to Belfield in 2016.
Both sides have already met this season in Division 1 of the Student Sport Ireland League in October, where they drew 12-12 at Donnybrook. Fridayis a rare opportunity for both teams to play at the UCD Bowl, made even more significant as the venue will also host Ireland’s group matches in the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup.
The Colours Match was inaugurated in 1952 at Lansdowne Road with the first title taken by UCD RFC. The idea of a Colours Match was originally discussed between Sarsfield Hogan of UCD and Harry Thrift of Trinity following a Senior Cup win of UCD over Trinity in 1948 by a drop goal to nil. Negotiations went on for some time and with the assistance of the IRFU and of the Lansdowne and Wanderers Rugby Football Clubs, a scheme for an annual Colours match was finally agreed.
The two Universities would play once a year. Each University would act as the host in turn and be responsible for the management for the fixture and the entertainment. Following discussion with the other University, the host would invite the referee for the match. A formal teams’ dinner would then be held following the match.
The Colours Cup trophy was inaugurated in 2002 to mark the Golden Jubilee of the first Colours Match in 1962. It was first presented to the winners of the 51st Colours Match, UCD. The cup is in the form of a claret jug.
This is AIB’s first year sponsoring UCD Rugby. Speaking at the launch, Tom Kinsella, Chief Marketing Officer with AIB said, “We’re delighted to be supporting UCD Rugby Football Club and The Colours Match. The Colours Match is an historic and significant event between two of Ireland’s leading teams in club rugby and we’re very proud to be a part of it. UCD has seen some great players nurture their skills on their journey through the club here, who have now gone on to play for their country and became national heroes.”
“As proud sponsors, we’re hoping UCD Ladies Team will win their first back-to-back Colours title, while the Senior Team will snatch the Colours Cup back and keep it in Belfield this Friday”.
The Womens’ Colours Match kicks off at 2:30pm at the UCD Bowl on Friday, 7th April while the Mens’ Senior Team follow with kick off at 6:30pm.
Notes to Editors:
- Notable players who have played in previous Colours Matches, Brian O’Driscoll (UCD), Jamie Heaslip (Trinity), Adam Byrne (UCD), Josh van der Flier (UCD), Garry Ringrose (UCD), Sean O’Brien (UCD), Fergus McFadden (UCD) and Dan Leavy (UCD) to name just a few.
- Colours Matches are also played between UCD and Trinity in a number of other sports, including Hockey, Rowing and Sailing.